Animals are truly amazing creatures, both big and small. Their ability to brighten our day or captivate us with their exotic habitats are some of the reasons why humans are compelled to have compassion for pets and wild animals alike. Even the most well-trained pet still has their innate sense of intuition, which alerts us to danger and at times, when help is needed.
Charmaine Keevy’s tiny dachshund wound up being a huge hero in South Africa earlier this month after he led her on a strange route during their walk that they had never taken before.
Charmaine didn’t think too much of Georgie’s diversion from their usual path until he stopped at a storm drain, started barking, and refused to move.
“I first thought it was a cat because he is scared of cats, but then when I heard the cries again, I realized it was a baby,” Charmaine said.
Sure enough, a newborn was wailing from below the street, abandoned in the drain.
Charmaine immediately flagged down a driver passing by named Cornie Viljoen who quickly grabbed a steel bar and lifted the concrete covering the drain. Cornie climbed inside and saw a baby about six feet down. The newborn was naked and covered with a coating of vernix. She still had the umbilical cord attached to her. As Cornie was trying to get to her he didn’t notice the stings that were pelting his legs at first. When he looked around, he realized he was in the middle of a red ant pile and they were pretty agitated about the encounter.
“I didn’t know if the baby was injured so I tried to pick her up very carefully and very slowly and she was so small,” Cornie told the Daily Mail. “I just wanted to hold her for a while but I knew that she needed urgent medical help.”
As Cornie was trying to get to the distressed newborn, Charmaine called emergency services who arrived quickly on the scene. The first responders assessed the abandoned baby girl and determined she had hypothermia and respiratory issues and swiftly took her to a nearby hospital.
“I honestly believe I was meant to find that baby, especially because I usually take a different route on our walks. I cannot help but feel that there is some sort of plan and a purpose for that little girls’ life — it is a miracle without a doubt,” Charmaine said.
The hospital staff has since named her “Grace April” and police are still trying to find her mother.
The two rescuers have been by to visit the baby and have given updates on the tiny girl’s health.
“The baby is OK at the moment but picked up a bit of a viral infection because of exposure to the cold but she’s a fighter and getting stronger,” Cornie said. “She is not out of the woods yet but she is breathing on her own now and the nurses say she will make it.”
Charmaine posted on Facebook that Grace April is “snug in an incubator” and took negative commenters to task saying the baby is “a precious little girl handpicked by God for such a time like this … she has a purpose and a destiny.”
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